Comments: This is my, the author's, first attempt at a writing of any kind that is not of a research nature. Below is an entirely fictional story based on my own imagination. Any resemblance to a person, alive or dead, is unintentional and entirely of coincidence. This story does contain material of an adult nature. Only those of applicable age should proceed.
All comments, criticisms, suggestions, and/or praise are welcomed at email@example.com. This story will progress slowly (if at all beyond this point, depending on the feedback I receive), and elements are left up to the reader's imagination purposely. If that is your gripe, please don't e-mail me.
©2002. All Rights Reserved.
Time Moves On - Chapter 1
I could hear it in the back of my mind. Every morning it grew louder until the piercing crept forward into my dreams. Then, it dulled, and my eyes flew open. The uninvited invader, my alarm clock, once again disturbed my sleep. I didn't even sit up, but instead reached my arm out behind me and clicked the clock radio off. Blissful silence, but it wasn't to last. Wiping the last remnants of sleep from my eyes, I twisted in my bed. The glaring red eyes of the clock said it was 7:03.
Mornings, I had to admit, were not my strong point. Placing my feet on the hardwood floor, I stood to take my first steps of the day. I still wasn't used to the morning chill of a room with hardwood floors. A few years ago my mother's careful and small investments over time had paid off; she could afford her dream house. We had lived alone for some time, and I grew up in a small, comfortable home in the suburbs. Her two-story home in the country still didn't feel like home for me. I had been given the entire top story to do with as I pleased, but I was lonely in my privacy.
Leaning against the banister I could see the kitchen light streaming into the hall--my mother was already awake. It was the only light in the house. There was definitely a chill in the hallway, but only because the central air had clicked on sometime during the night for the first time this spring. Cool air was blowing across my naked legs, arms, and chest from the floor below. Starting about a year earlier, I had only been sleeping in boxer briefs and in a pair of cotton pajama pants during the coldest months of winter. "Morning mom," I called.
"Morning Jon," I heard her reply. "I have breakfast ready. Hurry down!" I laughed to myself. Breakfast consisted of two pieces of toast and orange juice everyday, with coffee for her. It was our morning ritual. She always called it our "big country breakfast."
"I'll be down in fifteen minutes!" was all the reply I gave as I clicked on the bathroom light. My bathroom was the only room in the house I had made any input on in the floor plans. It was covered in tiles, with a large open shower in the back separated from the rest of the area by a short wall about half as wide as the room. There was a deep copper bath I had never actually used on the left wall across from a marble sink basin. Inside the door in a small walled off area to the left there was a standard toilet and a urinal. When I suggested installing a urinal, my mother thought I was crazy, but when I explained a male's morning situation, she relented and let me have it. She always mockingly called my bathroom "the palace."
Standing under the warm spray of the shower I enjoyed the manipulation of a soapy lather until my morning release. My pale skin glowed under the heat. I loved to run my hands across the slight ripple of my trim stomach and the angles of my chest, mostly because I had worked very hard and sweated my way to the limited results I already had. Eventually, though, my favorite action of the day had to end, and the water slowed to a drip and droplets fell from strands of my dark red hair. Wrapping a crisp white towel around my waist I looked at my watch on the water basin. I had eight minutes.
Eight minutes later I was running down the stairs two at a time. Now every light on the bottom floor had been turned on; the day had begun. I ran into the kitchen and smiled at my mom who was reading the paper in her breakfast nook, still in her bathrobe and sipping coffee. I started in on my cold toast and warm orange juice. "Stop running down my steps or I'll make you wax them to hide the scratches you've made."
"So much for good morning!" I had to smile though, and, finished, I wiped my mouth on a napkin, picked up my books and began heading for the door.
"Yes, so much for good morning!" she countered. "Wait! I'm going to be late tonight! Get your own dinner with money from the flour jar." The flour jar was the emergency funds container for me whenever I needed anything. It had never in my entire life held flour, at least not to my memory. "Oh, and your Calculus book is on the couch! Don't forget it, and did you do your homework!"
I had forgotten about my book. "Thanks mom," I said as I grabbed it and the notebook below it, stuffing them into my bag. "And no, I didn't do my homework." I could hear her smirk from the living room. She knew I had, I was a good student, and I always had been. Looking at the grandfather clock in the small foyer as I went out, I noticed it was now 7:30. Right on time for a change.
It wasn't long before I pulled my blue '94 Jeep Cherokee into my parking space at school. The best perk to being a senior was definitely the better parking. I was only a few hundred feet from the front steps. Grabbing my books from the passenger seat I got out of the car, and, after taking a moment to smooth out my antiqued jeans and long-sleeved gray polo shirt, began heading for my first class. I had eight classes, four each day, and I already wanted the school day to end.
Immediately up the steps and inside the old wooden doors, I was turning a corner and ran into Chris Tucker carrying a tea from the cafeteria. I, in my haste, hadn't been paying attention to where I was going. The tea ended up all over the both of us. He, though, was wearing his blue and white letter jacket for the baseball team. It didn't get on his shirt or pants, but my shirt was soaked. "Jesus, Jon! Are you okay?" He was already pulling me by my arm towards the bathroom.
I knew Chris well--ever since preschool in fact. Growing up we had been best friends until middle school. He started playing sports and getting interested in girls. I had gotten more involved in my schoolwork and was trying everything in my power to hide my attraction to him. Both of us were popular, so we had remained friends, but it was never the same after that. We couldn't find a reason to talk, and even though we shared mutual friends, we moved in different circles of the same social group.
"Are you okay?" he asked again. The bell had already rung and we were alone in the bathroom. "You're covered in my tea!" He was laughing, and I was drinking him up. He had always had chestnut hair, hazel eyes, and olive skin--classically handsome my mother would say. The worst was the fact that he had dimples when he smiled. I could see them now. It wasn't until then that I got awkward. I finally noticed that he had been patting my chest and stomach with paper towels, and suddenly I flushed red.
"No man. I've got it." I grabbed his larger hands with mine and pulled him away. "I'm just out of it, but I'm not an invalid." He laughed again, and his dimples grew larger. Touching him was electric, and I knew I had to disable this situation as fast as possible before my blood boiled over and my body responded to Chris's touch, his full lips, his broad shoulders. Things just got worse for me, though, when he took off his soaked jacket and I could see his chest from under his white t-shirt with "Green High Baseball" across the front.
"Jon," he laughed, "You're going to have to take off your shirt. You can't wear that one. Do you have another one?"
His laughing was infecting me. I started to crack up. "No, no. why would I?"
"I don't know! But I have a sweater in my bag." He had already begun to pull out a light sweater from his gym bag. It was navy blue, and from, I thought, J.CREW. "Take your shirt off."
"No. I can't," but he wouldn't take no for an answer. Embarrassed already, I added injury to insult by thoroughly humiliating myself by showing off my smaller, pale frame to someone I found absolutely irresistible. He though, stared right through me, and just kept smiling. His sweater was a little big on me, but fit well enough. If I wore my clothing looser it could have just as easily been my own. My groin began to quiver when I realized that his sweater smelled exactly like him. He smelled good.
"It looks like you've been working out," he joked, but I shrank away. I was used to being confident in myself, and I wasn't enjoying the role reversal. He punched me lightly on the arm before his face paled and we both snapped back to reality. We picked up our bags and started to move, he stuffing his stained jacket and my soaked shirt into his gym bag. "We're so late for AP Calc, man! We'll be roasted!" Nothing else was said. we were literally running down the polished tiled hallways towards Dr. Chin's door.
Dr. Chin was a young Asian woman who had only been teaching for a few years. Engrossed in advanced mathematical theory, she generally was well over the heads of her students, but she had been a great, albeit difficult, teacher over the past year. The class was confident of our chances of passing the exam. One thing she did not tolerate, however, was tardiness. As soon as we opened the door to her classroom, she shot the two of us a malicious glance, but never once stopped dictating notes to the class. We were alive, so I decided not to push my luck with an explanation. Chris and I took the last two seats remaining beside each other at the front of the room and stayed silent for the rest of class.
I thought the bell would never ring, but it finally did as Dr. Chin was listing off our homework assignment. Chris seemed slow leaving the room, as if he was waiting for someone. Finally I realized he was waiting for me so I began moving a bit faster. "I'm really sorry about earlier," I blurted out excitedly. A little too excited.
"No worries man. I'll just come get my sweater at your house after practice this afternoon. I'll bring your shirt to you." My heart dropped. It was foolish to think he simply wanted to talk to me, but reality came crashing back when I realized he just wanted his sweater back. To be honest, I had never replaced Chris with a new best friend. After my dad had died, I didn't want another friend. "But it was good to talk to you again!" He clapped me on the back and my heart was back to doing somersaults. "Hey, I'll sit with you at lunch today, okay?"
"Sure!" Inside I was punishing myself for sounding too excited.
"I have to get to physics with Mr. Smith. We don't want to be late for two classes." He was joking again. I couldn't help but feel like he was trying to put us both at ease.
"Yeah, I know. I have Mrs. Cunningham for French next." It was another AP course, and my absolute worst subject. I was dreading it, but Mr. Smith's room was down the hall from Mrs. Cunningham's. As we were walking out Dr. Chin's door I suggested, "We can walk together until I get to her room." He smiled and for the rest of the walk down the hall we talked like we had when we were in middle school. I felt the best I had in years just from being close to him. All throughout second period I struggled to watch the overhead, but my thoughts kept wandering to lunch. I felt light-headed, I felt like a grade school child at Christmas.
By the time lunch rolled around I had managed to calm myself. Everyday I walked with my friend Sam to the cafeteria. Sam was absolutely the most beautiful girl in school, and the closest thing I had to a best friend. She kept her distance though, admonishing me for not letting her inside my head. As we were walking up to the cafeteria's double doors, I felt someone punch me lightly in the arm from behind. When I turned around I saw Chris smiling, and then I felt myself smile. Sam, on the other hand, looked confused.
"Hey Jon, hey Sam!" Chris said. He was rolling back and forth on his heels. It was a nervous habit that he had ever since I could remember.
"Um. hey Chris. What's up?" Sam replied. She still sounded hesitant, since, even though Chris and I probably spoke once a week, he had never talked to me outside of class.
Chris looked at Sam, smiled, and his cute dimples made me sigh. "Not much. hey. do you guys want to go get something better to eat? We can go for Mexican at the restaurant a block up."
"Yeah, sure. want to come Sam?" I finally found my voice. I hadn't spoken so little at school in as long as I could remember.
"No, I can't," was her response. "I only have enough money to eat in this hell hole." She was frowning, even though our cafeteria wasn't really that bad. Still, it was school cafeteria food and no one turned down a chance at going to a restaurant for lunch unless they had to. "I'll see you in English, though!" She poked me in the ribs and kissed me on the cheek before running off, laughing wildly as she went for a reason I couldn't fathom.
Chris and I rode in an awkward silence up the block. It was the first time I had ever been in Chris's Ford Explorer. He had gotten it for a present on his eighteenth birthday earlier that year. I remember him talking about it in class. When we got to the restaurant, the parking lot was mostly empty so we had our choice of seating. He walked to the first open booth when I expressed no preference in where we sat.
"So, like, are you and Sam. like, dating?" he asked.
The question had caught me off guard. I started to laugh because of the way he stumbled through his inquiry. "No. No! We're just good friends," I told him. After that he relaxed a bit, and we let the conversation flow again. I gave him my complete attention, studying his features and smiling. The food, even though it was good, didn't seem to matter to either of us. I was letting my infatuation run away with me, but right then I didn't care. The hour passed quickly, and I barely made it to my English class on time.
Instead of desks, the English room had long tables that sat two people. Sam was waiting for me at our table. As soon as I sat down beside her she nudged me and grinned from ear to ear. "Jon has a crush!" she blurted out. I was mortified.
"What?" I asked, a bit too loud. I quieted my tone. "Are you crazy? I'm not." I stopped before I dug myself in too deep. I had never told a soul, but Sam could read people like a book. I suddenly realized that it was useless to hide the truth from her. "It's just a stupid crush, and. please don't tell anyone."
"Of course not," she told me, smiling. I trusted her, but I felt like I had been outed to the world. For the rest of the day I kept quiet, going through the motions during my Computer Science course. As soon as the last bell rung, I hopped in my car and raced home. I usually stayed around to talk after school, but today I wasn't in the mood. I wasn't sure why I was in such a hurry, but I felt the need to run away.
The house was empty when I opened the door. I struggled with my keys for a moment before I walked slowly up the stairs. I was already feeling better when I put down my books and keys beside my nightstand. The light on the phone's answering machine was blinking red, so I pressed the button to listen as I started peeling off clothes. "You have three new messages. Hey, honey. It's your mother. Don't forget I won't be home tonight! I just wanted to say I love you." My mother left me a message every day.
The next message was Sam, angry, on her cell phone. "I'm standing outside of school and you're not here! We need to talk." Her voice finally calmed down. "Love you, little brother." She always called me her "little brother" because I was a day younger than her. We were both only children.
I was pulling on clothing to work out in when the next message caused me to stop in my tracks. It was Chris on his cell phone. "Hey man! I must have missed you after school." He paused and laughed. I could hear a girl in the background, but her voice was muffled. "Apparently Sam did too. What did you do to her? Anyway, I'll see you in two hours or so. Don't forget about my sweater. See you then." And he was gone, and I went to work out my frustrations.
The only thing I actually owned that I bought with my own money was the gym equipment in my home gym. It was really just a standard affair, but I had worked and saved to buy everything I would need. By nature I was only average height, and very skinny. For the last two years I had worked against my genes to change that as much as possible. Only after the first year and several false starts did I start developing muscle.
My sexual frustration waited until I was done working out. I usually only masturbated twice daily, but Chris had me worked up. Usually my times in the shower were mechanical, but today I was impassioned. I stroked my nipples lightly with my free hand, occasionally pausing to stroke my balls. I was outrageously sensitive and worked myself to a quick orgasm. I dried off, but didn't bother wrapping the towel around my waist since I knew I was alone. Tossing it over my shoulder, I trotted off down the hall to my bedroom.
It wasn't long after I finished getting dressed that Chris got there. I heard the doorbell ring right after I finished running gel through my hair. As I raced down the steps two at a time, I could hear my mother's voice even though she wasn't there. When I opened the door Chris was standing there massaging the back of his neck with his hand and rolling on his heels with his book bag slung over one shoulder. Suddenly I was watching the eleven-year-old boy I used to know. For some reason, I laughed before inviting him in.
"Your sweater is in my room," I said as I started up the stairs. The grandfather clock in the foyer chimed loudly throughout the house. It was 5:00.
"This is a nice house," he mused as we walked up the steps. "A little strange though." He hadn't been to visit me since we moved; he had never seen the inside of this house.
Calling back over my shoulder I said, "Yeah, I know what you mean. It still doesn't feel like home to me for some reason."
"Hey. um. would you mind helping me with Calculus?" A strange question, considering that I knew he was doing quite well in the class, but I wasn't going to argue. I just wanted to be close to him. His sweet smell had already overpowered me.
We talked for hours. It turned out we had a lot of the same courses, though not the same classes, so we worked on homework together. As time clicked by slowly, we fell back into our old routine. He called his mom on his cell phone to tell her he would miss dinner, and, at 7:30, we ordered pizza with money from the non-flour flour jar. I lost time in the lines of his face and in the smell of his skin. When the alarm clock read 11:30, Chris rose to his feet.
"Man, I have to go. I'm so late!"
"Yeah, I guess you should." No matter how hard I tried, I could hear the disappointment in my voice. I rose to walk him out.
His tone suddenly became very serious. "Hey, Jon. I mean. I'm sorry for the way things have been. But when your dad died you kind of stopped talking, and I had to work out some problems of my on, you know?" He waited for me to answer, even though it sounded rhetorical.
"Yeah, I know." I replied.
"Your dad really was like a second father to me, but." He stopped and stared into my eyes. "I'm really sorry." He sounded as if he was going to cry, mourn my father and mourn the death of our friendship. I could feel my own tears coming on, but we both held on. As we walked down the stairs he put his arm around me. His touch was tender and sincere.
Standing outside on my porch he started again. "Jon, I." but to my surprise he stopped talking and leaned towards me. His lips brushed mine; that was all. To me, though, it was like a surge of adrenaline. I was stunned. When he moved away from me, he had a smile on his face, his dimples showing. I smiled back. He was driving away before I ever said a word. Everything was too confusing, I still had his sweater, and he still had my shirt.
"Hey." My mom's voice startled me. "Come inside, and tell me why Chris Tucker was in my house this evening." She knew everything about me because we were so close. I had never hidden anything from my mother, not even my sexuality. The same could not be said for my peers. As she held open the door for me, she turned on the porch light and I was awash in its glow. I could see, and she was smiling.
The old grandfather clock struck 12:00. "Just in time," I thought to myself. "Just in time."